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Team needs: Houston Texans

Texans Reed Football AP

With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. Up next is the team with the No. 27 overall selection, the  Houston Texans. While they haven’t been very active in free agency, watching more go out than come in, they have added a few veteran parts for what they hope is a push to the next level.

Wide receiver: Andre Johnson remains one of the best in the league, but the Texans have precious little to go with him. They only had one other experienced wideout on the roster, and they cut him (Kevin Walter). With a bunch of kids who haven’t proven anything yet, they need to find more targets for Matt Schaub, and soon.

Outside linebacker: The Texans were practically planning for Connor Barwin’s departure for Philadelphia when they drafted Whitney Mercilus in the first round last year. But more planning is needed, as they don’t have much beyond him and Brooks Reed. Finding their pass-rusher late in the first round might be the ticket, before the best ones are gone.

Guard: The right side of their offensive line was iffy last year, and they aren’t necessarily in a spot to invest a high pick in the grade of tackle they need. So if they could find some competition inside in the middle rounds, it would be a smart move.

Nose tackle: Shaun Cody’s not going to be able to bang forever, and has shown signs of wearing down. That’s probably why he’s still unsigned, as they appear content to go with Earl Mitchell as the starter. Adding a big body is a need if they’re not interested in bringing Cody back, or even if they are.

Tight end: The Texans are fortunate that Owen Daniels has responded to the lack of secondary receiving targets. But if they’re not going to throw outside, they might want to add another option here.

The Texans are good enough, that unless they go receiver or guard with their first pick, there’s a very good chance that guy’s not starting this year.

And that’s the goal of every franchise.

The fixes the Texans made this offseason were the kind a team makes when they think they’re this close to a Super Bowl.

They lost range in the transition from Glover Quin to Ed Reed at safety, but they hope the added leadership and championship experience counteracts that.

Upgrading at punter (from Donnie Jones to Shane Lechler) was a fine-tuning move. Likewise, losing the versatile James Casey at fullback and replacing him with veteran Greg Jones shows this team is gearing up for one big run.

Adding any useful parts in the draft would be a benefit, but it’s hardly a necessity.

But if they fall short again, it’s reasonable to start asking questions about Schaub, and the ultimate direction of the franchise.

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20 Responses to “Team needs: Houston Texans”
  1. hater79 says: Apr 20, 2013 1:28 PM

    Matt Schaub > Tony Romo

  2. lightcleric says: Apr 20, 2013 1:34 PM

    I know Schaub has underperformed, but unlike other quarterbacks like Romo, who has had plenty of great targets, Schaub has pretty much had Andre Johnson and little else. Every great QB and even a lot of the “good” ones have at least two good targets.

  3. theguybelowmehasnoarguement says: Apr 20, 2013 1:36 PM

    Everyone knows that we need a receiver, that’s why I firmly believe that Ilb is we’re we will go in rd 1. Cushions backup is critical. Ilb in rd 1, wr rd 2…

  4. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Apr 20, 2013 1:37 PM

    Ehhh OLB is okay. They have some decent depth there. MLB is the biggest need here. Plus if the Texans go mlb in the 1st an he hits his rookie year. Nasty defense.

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see a T.E or Wr go here. I’m just worried about WR and tackle talent this last in the 1st. I feel like the guys that will be there will be considered a reach. An GM rick smith says he always drafts Best available.

    An idk about how much range they lost with glover to ED. Glover was a little bit of a liability in coverage. Ed reed can read the offense before the ball is snapped. Or generally knows whats going on which is what hes worth now.

    If you watched the pats ravens games, Ray an Ed were sitting on routes they knew were coming. Thats why they lasted so long. Game knowledge is terribly underrated in the NFL.

  5. randallflagg52 says: Apr 20, 2013 1:57 PM

    hater79 says:
    Apr 20, 2013 1:28 PM
    Matt Schaub > Tony Romo

    ====================================

    That’s not saying a whole lot…

  6. therealpittbull says: Apr 20, 2013 2:05 PM

    Houston, like most teams have positional needs. I would agree, Wide Receiver and Linebacker are the key choices. The ideal choice is Robert Woods, USC. Does EVERYTHING the way the Texans want there receivers to do, along with being good off the field. Runs great routes, catches everything in sight, and blocks, the way the “Kubiak/Denver system” expect their #2 receiver to do. This season’s draft is not for Andre’s replacement, rather a compliment, until Posey comes back healthy, and now you have a three headed monster of Posey-Woods-Martin. Excellent foundation for a Schaub eventual replacement.

    All that aside, the biggest issue is not physical, but mental. The Texans have NO emotional leader. Sure, they jump and do wild things after making a play, but there is no one that inspires the team to go further. Quite frankly, they follow the lead of “oh Shucks” guys, Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips. Quiet talk, but no get up and go. Bringing in Reed was not just for football knowledge, but essentially a coach in the locker room, that can show these guys how to go about their business, in spite of a quiet QB leader.

    In later rounds, the Texans will fill all of their additional physical needs, but the main question is, who steps up to actually LEAD the team. That will determine how far they eventually go.

  7. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 20, 2013 2:30 PM

    i think Woods will be gone by the time the texans draft

  8. liamj55 says: Apr 20, 2013 2:50 PM

    Team needs- a hat that fits Ed Reed.

  9. sisqsage says: Apr 20, 2013 3:00 PM

    As a football fan who is not emotionally invested in the Texans or any team in their division or even the AFC, permit me to make the following points:

    – Shouldn’t you guys win the AFC champ. or at least get that far before thinking you are a great team?
    - You have some great players in Watt , Johnson and the RB, but Schaub is not the answer to get you where you want to go. If you don’t have the right QB, you are just wasting your time.

    - The media seems to want to keep crowning Houston without them actually winning anything of significance to warrant it. Kubiak is a huge question mark too, which should be another red flag in terms of your long term goals.

    - Who is the real leader? Ed Reed will help but he is fricking pretty old and beat up by now. You guys got lit up at home by the Pack, who we all know have a suspect O-line. Where was Watt in that game? Your best players seem to vanish in the biggest games (Schaub’s history for like forever).
    - Without a proven big game winner at QB or at head coach, why would anybody be bullish on this team when you have to face Brady and Co., and other top teams in the AFC (Ravens) in the biggest games?
    - Most likely, you guys are going to need a new QB and coach to get the most out of a talented roster.

    - I’d like to see you guys make it to the Bowl before the media gives out any more crowns based on potential.

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 20, 2013 3:07 PM

    Wow I’d much rather have Donnie Jones. He’s young with a big leg and has potential for a nice career. Lechler could be falling apart due to age any day now and he already showed signs of regression last year which wasn’t nearly on par with some of his great seasons of the past. He’s merely serviceable for a very limited and questionable amount of time and he’s super expensive due to his age and past results. The Texans have a bigger need to upgrade at Punter now than if they had DJ in his place. In other words, if given the chance, no way in heck that PHI would trade DJ for Lechler!

  11. packerbackernj says: Apr 20, 2013 3:10 PM

    lightcleric says:
    Apr 20, 2013 1:34 PM
    I know Schaub has underperformed, but unlike other quarterbacks like Romo, who has had plenty of great targets, Schaub has pretty much had Andre Johnson and little else. Every great QB and even a lot of the “good” ones have at least two good targets.
    ____________

    LOL. Wow. You have the greatest WR in the league for YEARS and the excuse is “well…he didn’t have a 2 receiver.” The “good” QBs create a WR2 with perfect throws. I honestly can’t believe i heard “well he only had andre johnson” as an excuse for Schaub. What a joke.

  12. dalucks says: Apr 20, 2013 3:38 PM

    Predictable playcalling on offense, consistant quarterback play and conservative head coach are the three biggest issues holding back the Texans. This should be the last year of the Kubiak/Schaub era if they do not reach the AFC Championship game. Numbers and wins speak louder than words.
    As a die hard Texans fan, our needs are DT, WR, ILB, QB, OG, OT, TE, S and OLB.
    The Texans should trade down from #27 to pick up a high (top ten) 2nd and 3rd round pick. Miami would be perfect since they have two 2nd round picks but Buffalo, Arizona, Cleveland, Kansas City or Tampa Bay probably will want to trade back into the 1st round to take a QB. Then trade the top ten 2nd round pick down a few spots to pick up an lower 2nd round pick plus an extra 4th round pick. Then take the acquired 4th round pick and trade down a few spots in the 4th round and pick up an extra 7th round pick. This will give the Texans 12 picks to fill all of the team needs.
    This is how the Texans draft should go:
    2nd round Cal WR Keenan Allen
    2nd round Florida St QB E.J. Manuel
    3rd round Arkansas PB OT Terron Armstead
    3rd round SMU DE Margus Hunt
    3rd round Georgia DT Jon Jenkins
    4th round Tennessee OG Dallas Thomas
    4th round Alabama ILB Nico Johnson
    5th round Iowa ST ILB A.J. Klein
    6th round Tennessee TE Mychal Rivera
    6th round Maryland OLB Kenny Tate
    7th round Tulsa FS Dexter McCoil
    7th round Miami FL SS Ray Ray Armstrong

    This will fill every fan need except playcalling and a new head coach, which are not available in any draft.

  13. dalanz28 says: Apr 20, 2013 4:03 PM

    Texans go no further without better QB play and can someone please tell Son of Bum that nose tackles don’t wear roller skates. Jesse Williams anyone?

  14. thekingdave says: Apr 20, 2013 4:19 PM

    AHHH!!! DALUCKS, STOP!!

  15. sbaltimore says: Apr 20, 2013 4:36 PM

    The Texans are going to need a FS once they realize that Ed Reed has got nothing left in the tank except a real bad neck.

  16. therealtrenches says: Apr 20, 2013 5:45 PM

    Ed Reed is old in the face.

  17. fernjag says: Apr 20, 2013 9:21 PM

    At least dalicks has the Texans in the correct conference now. In earlier post he commented that they will not reach the NFC championship game. 😐

    Keenan Allen was rated as the #1 wide receiver on some teams draft boards. So, it will be very highly unlikely that he will still be there when the Texans pick in the second round. I’m not a big fan of Keenan Allen and his bum knee when the Texans can draft Woods, Hopkins, or Hunter anyway.

    It seems that you have a personal vendetta against Kubiak and Schaub. What happened? Did they refuse to sign a football for you or something?

  18. fosteraustralianfortouchdown says: Apr 22, 2013 10:54 AM

    ILB is not likely, you cant spend two #1′s on ilb, besides ilb next to cushing likely only plays 2 downs. I could see wr or te in first as most likley choice, something too stop other teams from double teaming andre or at least make them pay for it. Ot might be a possibility in first as well.

  19. brainoflindros says: Apr 24, 2013 12:07 PM

    WR at #1 is a waste, like Dez Bryant…never take a WR in first. They are not that good this year to spend a #1. Defensive front or ILB is the way to go, hell even a OLineman if any still remain.
    Then WR in 2nd if no trades made…

  20. djaehne says: Apr 24, 2013 10:38 PM

    “The media keeps wanting to crown Houston” haha…what a nut case or do you live in a small cardboard box without internet. Media doesn’t
    know about any team off the east coast, dude.

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